By Karen Packard
Should I renovate my house before I sell? This is a question I get asked all the time when sellers call me to sell their house. The answer is not as simple as “Yes” or “No”. It really depends on a variety of factors and every house is different. Location, style, age of the house and current condition all factor into the answer on what you should do if you are thinking of selling.
The first question I would ask is: Are you looking to sell in the current market? If yes, then minimal upgrades are needed. Right now, with the low inventory and the strong market, houses are selling faster and for more money than just a year or two ago. Buyers are willing to overlook some upgrades and repairs if it means them getting a new home. Right now, we also are experiencing a shortage of some building materials and appliances so upgrades are not as easy as they once were. Contractors are also busier than ever, so in many cases a renovation will not be done with a quick turnaround. So, if you are looking to get your house sold quickly, you might want to let me assess your home and see what needs to be done to maximize your selling price. Most renovation projects will get you a higher price for your house but not always the amount you spent in renovation costs. So, you want to assess the best use of your budget and what buyers are looking for. That way you can come up with a plan and budget that is going to have the most impact on your sale price.
According to This Old House, the best return on your investment for home renovations is Minor Kitchen Remodels at 87% of the cost. Think about painting cabinets and replacing hardware to start. Changing your counters to a simple, neutral granite will also make the kitchen feel updated. A deck typically is worth about 75% return on the cost when selling, a home office is worth about 54% depending on how the space is utilized. Although, right now I am finding many people are renovating a dining room or formal living room into a home office or home-schooling space and that is adding additional value as well.
I highly recommend talking to a real estate expert before spending money on projects that will not add value. As always, I am happy to meet with you to discuss any questions you have about real estate or renovating your house to sell either now or in the future. Feel free to email me at or call 978-407-2568.